If You Don’t Quote Yourself, Nobody Else Will

So, you’re pretty smart.

And you’ve said some pretty smart things.

But you didn’t write them down, did you?

Which means you don’t quote yourself, did you?


LESSON LEARNED: If want other people to quote YOU, you need to quote yourself first.

Don’t worry. It doesn’t make you an egomaniac.

It just means that, as a creative professional, you’re taking ownership of (and protecting) your intellectual property.

So, here are a few steps you can take to start quoting yourself today!

1. Pay attention. Sometimes you might say something smart and think, “Damn, that was pretty good!” Or a friend of yours might ask, “Hey, can I quote you on that?” When things like this happen, you MUST recognize them as cues to your brilliance. Because you ARE brilliant.

2. Write it down. The next step is to capture your thoughts. Remember, if you don’t write it down, you never said it! So, the moment you say something brilliant, grab your jotter, a piece of paper, a napkin or your laptop and WRITE IT DOWN. This is the most important step.

3. Verify it. Before you go taking credit for your (supposedly) original thought, be sure to validate it. Start by asking yourself three questions:

a. Is this thought (really) mine?

b. Has this thought passed through the test of my personal experience?

c. How can I discover whether or not this is my own thinking?

If yes, the next step is to Google the full, exact phrase in quotations. You need to make sure someone hasn’t already said it, wrote it, claimed it or wrote a book with the title of it. This will help you avoid plagiarism and maintain your originality.

4. Store it. Keep a file on your computer or a folder on your desk called, “Smart Things I’ve Said.” Update it regularly with your new quotations.

5. Share it. Now comes the fun part – physically quoting yourself! Here are a few suggestions:

a. Create a special report, ebook, whitepaper or blog post that includes all of your quotations. Give it away for free to EVERYBODY.

b. Print a few thousand “philosophy cards” that include your ten best quotes. Hand them out to EVERYBODY.

c. In your writings, don’t hesitate to quote yourself. Use ownership phrases like, “As I always say,” “My philosophy is,” and “I always tell my readers/audience members.”

6. Monitor and Protect. Finally, get Google Alerts on your best, most frequently used quotations. Find out who’s talking about you, quoting you, and, possibly, who’s stealing your material. Consider buying URL’s, registering trademarks and taking other legal actions to officially protect and copyright your intellectual property.

Now, I know that initially, it might feel odd quoting yourself.

So, just remember:

If you quote yourself, other people will quote you.

If other people quote you, your perception as an expert will grow.

If your perception as an expert grows, more customers, more opportunities and more business will COME TO YOU.

After all, as a creative professional, ideas are your major source of income.

And you can quote me on that.


Who cares what Oprah once said?